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Woffelz
Mmmm...donuts...
Join date: Apr 2009
3,346 IQ
#1
I'm just going to create this guide to:
- help you find an Ibanez with specs you like
- help you find out what model your Ibanez is, in case the name on the back of the headstock is missing

The first part of the model name...
AR - Artist series
AX - Like a double-cutaway Les Paul, usually with TOM or flatmount bridges
DTX - Destroyer series [think Explorer style bodies]
EDR - Ergodyne Models. Luthite body [sawdust and glue]
FR - Telecaster style body
IC - Iceman
RG - Roadstar Guitar. Superstrat body
RGA - Archtop RG
R - The "R" went at the end of the name. These went on to become the JS [Satch] series.
S - Saber series. Features thin mahogany bodies
SA - Basically Sabers with synchronised tremolos and flat backs
SF - Sabers with TOM bridges
SV - Sabers with synced ZR tremolos
SZ - Sabers with thick mahogany bodies and TOM bridges
SZR - SZ with more contour on the back
XP - Xiphos series

Anything with G in front is a Gio series guitar. Gio models are budget versions of other series' guitars. E.g. GRG170DX

An S or T after the series abbreviation stands for set-neck and neck-thru construction respectively. E.g. SAS36 and RGT2020

And R after the series abbreviation means reversed headstock.

An X after the series abbreviation means that it is a cheaper version of a different series. E.g. ICX is a budget Iceman.

A T after the abbrev. stands for thru-neck contruction.
E.g. RGT320Z

An A stands for archtop. E.g. RGA32

If there is a 7 after the series abbreviation, it means it is a 7 string guitar. The 7 can sometimes be put at the end of the model number. Cheers, pacman 0123!


The first number


1xx Not MIJ and has a traditional tremolo
2xx Not MIJ and usually has a hardtail
3xx Not MIJ and usually has a floyd or sometimes hardtails
4xx Cheaply made but with quality components
5xx MIJ
6xx MIJ [Japanese production only]
7xx MIJ, but better looking than 5xx
8xx Non MIJ Premium
9xx Better Premiums
1xxx Prestige MIJ RGs, Korean Ss and basses, with exceptions
2xxx Same as 1xxx but with finer details [mainly cosmetics]
3xxx Better than 1xxx with better detail and better woods
7xxx Not sure if Prestige or not, but it means 7 strings
8xxx J Custom models



The second number [third for Prestige] usually refers to the pickups

x0x Semi-hollow [?]
x1x H
x2x HH [rear route]
x3x SSS [rear and front routing]
x4x HSS [rear]
x5x HSH [front routing]
x6x HSS [front]
x7x HSH [rear]
x8x HSH and matching headstock
The RG565 is an exception - it has a HS configuration.

The last number...
xx0 Has a tremolo
xx1 Fixed bridge
xx2 12 strings
xx3 We think it refers to a fixed bridge Ibanez don't use as often.
xx5 D-tuner equipped or missing a singlecoil [according to Ibanez Wikia]
xx7 7 strings
xx8 8 strings

Letters on the end

EX - Once stood for experimental, but can mean exclusive or extreme
DX - Deluxe. Special features and better cosmetics
M - Stand for maple fretboard
MH - Mahogany body
QM - Quilted maple
QS - Quilted sapele. Thanks pacman 0123!
FM - Flamed maple.

An example for all of these things...

RG321MH

RG - Roadstar Guitar
321 - Not MIJ, HH pickups and a fixed bridge.
MH - Mahogany body

Now, I've probably missed something. Please tell me what I've missed and I'll improve this guide.
Woffelz

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Last edited by Woffelz at Jul 14, 2011,
Mr.-Bungle
Mr. Bungle
Join date: Jun 2008
245 IQ
#3
What about the "QM" in my S470DXQM? Which isn't made in Japan btw, opposite to what your guide says about "4"'s.

Good guide though dude.

Edit:
Oh wait. Quilted maple maybe?
Last edited by Mr.-Bungle at Jun 25, 2011,
Woffelz
Mmmm...donuts...
Join date: Apr 2009
3,346 IQ
#4
Quote by Mr.-Bungle
What about the "QM" in my S470DXQM? Which isn't made in Japan btw, opposite to what your guide says about "4"'s.

Good guide though dude.

Edit:
Oh wait. Quilted maple maybe?


Yep it's quilted maple.

I'll try and find out what the 4 means for ya.
Woffelz

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Emperor's Child
Isn't It?
Join date: Mar 2008
2,486 IQ
#5
Maybe I'll do something like this for Yamaha, what with me being a Yamahaolic after all.
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Pac_man0123
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#8
Don't forget QS... stands for Quilted Sapele

I.E. the RG520QS

Btw, a pre-Prestige 4xx model is Made in Japan, but with cheaper hardware. A post-Prestige 4xx or 5xx model is made in Korea.

Also, 7 string non-Prestige series guitars are indicated with a 7 before the model number. I.E. S7320 or RG7321
Last edited by Pac_man0123 at Jun 26, 2011,
Woffelz
Mmmm...donuts...
Join date: Apr 2009
3,346 IQ
#11
Quote by Jason43
That explanation of the model number doesn't apply to all guitars(ie MIJ AR300recs, AS103).


I just googled it and [from multiple sources] I found out that the AR300 is made in Korea.

As for the AS103, I am puzzled.

1 - Not MIJ [made in China]
0 - I'm guessing it could mean semi hollow body
3 - TOM bridge or not a typical Ibanez fixed bridge?
Woffelz

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Dave_Mc
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Join date: Mar 2005
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#12
some of the 470s were MIJ... i'd have said they were made well but cheap components (trem, mainly).

but the 4xxs are sorta the booby traps... some of them are MIJ, some not. and even the mij ones often have a bad trem.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

Jason43
Now you know...
Join date: Aug 2007
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#13
The AR300RECS is Japanese made and a prestige model. Then you get into things like the AR305, the 5 referring to a quilted mahogany top, the AR700, the AM77, the AS83 etc. I hate to say it, but I don't think there's much rhyme or reason to the model numbers.
Last edited by Jason43 at Jun 25, 2011,
littlephil
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2007
1,140 IQ
#15
Good info, just one thing, with the second number in the model number, x8x doesn't mean matching headstock. The RG580 was an oiled mahogany body, and there are a few Prestige/J-Customs with xx8x numbers, that are HSH but don't have a matching headstock.

The Prestige serial numbers are essentially the same as older MIJ non-Prestige numbers, except the 1/2/3 prefix denotes it is a Prestige model. An RG2550 is a Prestige RG with an RG 550 layout (HSH, pickguard), and the 1570 is a Prestige RG with the 570 layout.

Those don't apply for all models though, there are quite a few models that don't fit into the model number series.
OliOsbourne
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#16
The S5470 is cheaply made but with quality components?
HILT!

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littlephil
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Join date: Nov 2007
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#17
^No, the 5 before the 470 denotes that it is a Prestige. The second number on Prestiges doesn't really stand for anything, its just used to differentiate some models that have similar specs.
OliOsbourne
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#18
Quote by littlephil
^No, the 5 before the 470 denotes that it is a Prestige. The second number on Prestiges doesn't really stand for anything, its just used to differentiate some models that have similar specs.

ts said

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littlephil
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Join date: Nov 2007
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#19
Yeah, but the x5xx doesn't actually mean anything specs wise for a Prestige, its the xx5x that denotes the layout. The first number in a 3 number model tells you what 'quality' tier it is in, which is why a 550 and a 750 are different, but with the same layout. The 1/2/3 before those 3 numbers in a Prestige tells you that it is a Prestige, so the x5xx doesn't say anything about the quality, its just a Prestige.
OliOsbourne
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#20
oh ok
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Dave_Mc
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Join date: Mar 2005
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#21
yeah in the prestige line (well, the rgs anyway), 1 is entry level (quality hardware, ibby stock pickups, basswood body), 2 is medium level (quality hardware, dimarzio/ibz pickups, basswood body i think) and 3 is high-end (quality hardware, dimarzio pickups).

in the older prestiges they stopped at 3, and those generally had mahogany bodies with figured maple tops (not veneers, though pretty thin). i see for this year though that the 3 series have basswood bodies, and you have to go up to the 4 series to get mahogany/maple.

they're crazy money now.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

littlephil
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2007
1,140 IQ
#22
The wood depends on the actual model. Like Dave said, older 3xxx's like the 3120 had flamed tops (6mm IIRC), but there were other 1xxx Prestiges that had flamed tops too, some of the first Prestiges made. Now they're usually all basswood for some reason, and no flamed tops.
Krauser
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Join date: Sep 2007
1,617 IQ
#23
Interesting. I knew there was some code behind all the ibby numbers but I did not know it was this detailed. Makes sense... my RG2EX1 is a a non-MIJ (the first 2), was an exclusive to Guitar Center (the EX in the middle), and is a hardtail (the last 1)... very cool haha...

So what's the deal with the second number in my Prestige? I assume from looking that the 2170 in my Prestige S2170FB means that it's:

S - Saber series guitar
2 - A prestige with higher cosmetic quality and appearance
1 - Don't know what this 1 is for... only one I can't figure out
7 - Has a rear routed HSH setup
0 - Has a tremolo
FB - Has a flamed bubinga top

So what's the 1? Because the guide would indicate a "non-MIJ model (which it is as all of the S series Prestige's until 2008 were Korean made) with a traditional tremolo" unless they're considering a ZR a traditional tremolo, so it doesn't quite fit...
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Tom 1.0
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#25
The original J Customs model numbers began with a 1XXX
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fearofthemark
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#26
hmm, that doesn't seem to work with my S5EX1. The S makes sense, but I know it was made in indonesia, not Japan, and the rest just makes no sense. Maybe the model number really was a play on "SEXY".

edit: the EX also makes sense, as my guitar is limited edition. But I am 100% sure it was not made in Japan, and I know it doesn't have a fixed bridge
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Last edited by fearofthemark at Jun 27, 2011,
some1fat
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2011
88 IQ
#27
Very nice guide, thanks a lot. Finally I'll be able to tell the specs of an Ibanez just by the model number.
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          Dave_Mc
          Chirp and Swirl
          Join date: Mar 2005
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          #28
          Quote by littlephil
          The wood depends on the actual model. Like Dave said, older 3xxx's like the 3120 had flamed tops (6mm IIRC), but there were other 1xxx Prestiges that had flamed tops too, some of the first Prestiges made. Now they're usually all basswood for some reason, and no flamed tops.


          i think mine's 4mm? i haven't measured it, though. but it does look pretty thin.
          Quote by crownegamers
          I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

          Quote by dspellman
          The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

          JKHC
          Registered User
          Join date: Apr 2011
          918 IQ
          #29
          I need some help with my art300. Couldn't find anything about the serial on any site.
          311515974
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          littlephil
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          #30
          Quote by Krauser
          So what's the deal with the second number in my Prestige? I assume from looking that the 2170 in my Prestige S2170FB means that it's:

          S - Saber series guitar
          2 - A prestige with higher cosmetic quality and appearance
          1 - Don't know what this 1 is for... only one I can't figure out
          7 - Has a rear routed HSH setup
          0 - Has a tremolo
          FB - Has a flamed bubinga top

          So what's the 1? Because the guide would indicate a "non-MIJ model (which it is as all of the S series Prestige's until 2008 were Korean made) with a traditional tremolo" unless they're considering a ZR a traditional tremolo, so it doesn't quite fit...

          Well, the 1 is there because without it it would be an S270. The 1 is just there to make it a 4 digit number, indicating that its a Prestige guitar.

          Like I said before, the second number on a Prestige doesn't really mean anything, its just there to add a number. The first number indicates the 'tier' its in, and the last 2 indicate the layout (pickups, bridge). The second number is just there because without it you only have 3 digits.

          Dave; It might be 4mm then. I might have been thinking of the J-Customs, I think they have 6mm tops. Either way its between 4-6mm for a Prestige & J-Custom.
          Last edited by littlephil at Jun 27, 2011,
          teh_goon
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          Join date: May 2011
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          #31
          i have an ibanez rga42t, does anyone know what the t stnds for? And for that matter why is there only 2 numbers?
          Dave_Mc
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          #32
          Quote by littlephil

          Dave; It might be 4mm then. I might have been thinking of the J-Customs, I think they have 6mm tops. Either way its between 4-6mm for a Prestige & J-Custom.


          yeah that might be it
          Quote by crownegamers
          I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

          Quote by dspellman
          The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

          Woffelz
          Mmmm...donuts...
          Join date: Apr 2009
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          #33
          This guide is not complete

          There are quite a few things that puzzle me.
          Woffelz

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          Pac_man0123
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          Join date: Dec 2008
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          #34
          Quote by fearofthemark
          hmm, that doesn't seem to work with my S5EX1. The S makes sense, but I know it was made in indonesia, not Japan, and the rest just makes no sense. Maybe the model number really was a play on "SEXY".

          edit: the EX also makes sense, as my guitar is limited edition. But I am 100% sure it was not made in Japan, and I know it doesn't have a fixed bridge

          It's because once Ibanez started making Prestige models, all MIJ guitars have 4 numbers in their model number.

          The 1 at the end is probably because it's an EX model.
          littlephil
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          Join date: Nov 2007
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          #37
          Quote by Pac_man0123
          You should change the OP because 5xx, 6xx, and 7xx models are only MIJ if they're pre-Prestige.

          Not really, they were still making 5xx's in Japan up until 2003, the Prestige line started in 1997.
          Adam278
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          Join date: Apr 2011
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          #39
          Quote by teh_goon
          i have an ibanez rga42t, does anyone know what the t stnds for? And for that matter why is there only 2 numbers?


          Pretty sure the T is just for tremelo, as generally rga's are hardtail, but I'm not sure about the numbering on rga since there's 2 instead of 3